Frederic Edwin Church
Artist Frederic Church is most known for his natural landscape pieces. To give dept to his pieces, he paints in a panoramic view, capturing the sight not just from a front perspective but including the surrounding as well. Unlike other painters, Church takes a “scientific approach” when painting nature, using sketches he has accumulated of the area. His pieces are usually done with oil on canvas and are paintings of mostly the North American and South American landscapes. In this piece, Church uses oil on canvas to capture the colors of the northern lights in contrast to the land, and water, below it, adding to the piece a bit of a sepia tint. The darkened night is painted with naturalistic browns to show the solidity of the mountains, and against that, the vivid colors of the Aurora Borealis shine natural light on the distant mountains and rippling waves below. The ocean includes several shades of blues, greys, and browns, adding to the translucence of the water and showing the effect of natural light on the foreground and middleground. These features prove to make an aesthetically pleasing piece that causes the eyes to focus on contrasting points of the artwork.
Church also uses oil on canvas to create a panoramic landscape of the Niagara Falls from the American viewpoint. He utilizes different shades of blues, greens, and greys to capture the flow and movement of the fall as well as its force. From this view the mist of the fall disappears into an abyss of mist, creating a forceful yet serene appearance. Church then adds to his naturalistic landscape natural occurrences, such as the formation of a faint rainbow where the rocks meet the water in the lower corner, to create a scenery that could be compared to the detail and realism of a photograph.